Choosing the Right Laundry Detergent for Cloth Diapering

Woman Choosing the Right Laundry Detergent for Cloth Diapering

Laundering cloth diapers is actually incredibly straightforward once you’ve got your system down. Choosing the right detergent for your diapers is not as difficult as it sounds, either! The main factors to take into consideration are:

  • Cost
  • Effectiveness
  • Environmental Impact
  • Ease of Use

 

Cost

 
Detergents come at a number of different price points – but most are within a few dollars of each competing brand. If you’re at a place where cost really is the most important factor, the following strategies are recommended:

 

Buying in bulk

 

Co-op and bulk-bin stores will let you purchase detergents by the ounce in your own refillable container. Just weigh your clean, empty container, and then fill up with as much or as little as you want to bring home. Because you can measure exactly how much you’re buying, you can make sure you stay exactly within your budget. Bonus – the cost per ounce is usually lower than buying typically packaged detergents, as you’re not paying for the bottle or the increased cost to transport the packaging.

 

Buying powdered detergent

 

Powdered detergent used to be the gold standard in home laundering. With the advent of high-efficiency machines, and ease of dispensing into small receptacles in the machines came liquid detergent as we know it today. While powder is typically a lower-cost option, with so many liquid detergents available, some powdered detergents are becoming increasingly difficult to find in stores.

 

Making your own

 

Making your own detergent can be highly economical as the ingredients themselves are fairly inexpensive. I wouldn’t use homemade laundry soap on my cloth diapers, so I can’t recommend it for my readers. I wrote about why I don’t use homemade Laundry Detergent for my cloth diapers .

However for those of you still interested, you usually have to buy a large container, but that container will last you ages. If you have access to a bulk bins store, you may be able to purchase smaller quantities to make a smaller batch. You can also customize it to meet exactly your family’s needs, especially important If you’ve got an allergy or sensitivity. The Eco-Friendly Family has a fantastic DIY Recipe if you want to try it out. (1)

 

Effectiveness

 
Whichever detergent you get should ultimately have the same end result – clean, sanitary diapers! If that’s not happening, then it doesn’t matter which of the other categories it satisfies. To ensure you’re giving your detergents the most optimal conditions to work its magic, make sure you’re washing them properly. See our article Cloth Diaper Washing Instructions ~ That Work

If diapers aren’t getting as clean as you’d expect, or they aren’t as clean as they used to be, you can troubleshoot before switching detergents.

  • Check that diapers aren’t holding onto excess detergent residue. Even with proper cleaning, diapers can hold onto residue from detergents, reducing their absorbency, and ultimately looking and feeling less “clean”. You can find out more about how to strip the residue from your diapers here.
  • Make sure your washing machine isn’t overdue for a deep cleaning. All washing machines are prone to needing a deep cleaning every now and then. To help get a cleaner clean on all your loads, check out how to effectively clean your washer.

 

Environmental Impact

 

 

Ease of Use

 

Like many aspects of 21st-century living, convenience has trumped environmental impact when products are marketed to consumers. Being a savvy consumer though, you can learn where these “convenience” items are actually traps and where you can both save money, and reduce your environmental impact by choosing the most eco-friendly options.

 

Packaging

 

Increased packaging under the guise of convenience has been at play for decades now. Smaller package sizes, multiple layers of plastic packaging bags, wrappers and such all increase the amount of waste that consumers must go through before even getting to their product. By opting for packages with as little extra waste as possible, you are able to help your home and the planet at the same time! Look for individual items that don’t have extra “wrapping” around them, and avoid sample sizes or multipacks and opt for larger containers, where possible.

 

Pod Detergents

 
Laundry Pods
Pod detergents have become increasingly popular due to their easy portioning and dispensing. They don’t come without their own set of concerns, however. The containers that they come in are almost exclusively plastic, and while many can be recycled, unfortunately, it is estimated that less than 10% of plastic that is sorted for recycling is never actually recycled. (2)

If you do prefer pods, opting for cardboard packaging (3) or reusing plastic packaging around the house first would help extend the life of this otherwise single-use container.
 

Reusable dispensers

 

Hands down, the best way to eliminate waste when purchasing laundry detergent, is to eliminate single-use packaging altogether. You can do this by making your own detergent and storing it in your own containers, or by purchasing pre-made detergent in bulk at co-ops or other stores that offer bulk items for purchase. If you don’t have access to any locally, you can also purchase refills for dispensers you already own. Brands like Method (4) and Grove Collaborative (5) both offer refill packs for your liquid detergent. Just keep in mind that with both of these options, you’re still receiving the detergent in a plastic bladder bag, although single-use, it is far less plastic than buying an entirely new dispenser bottle each time.

 

Ease of Use

 
Another very legitimate consideration when determining what laundry detergent you’re going to use is how difficult it will be for you to use it. Suggesting that everyone simply choose the detergent that had the highest marks in each category and leave it at that would be incredibly short-sighted, as we know each option is not feasible for every family.

Whether you don’t have access to low-cost ingredients, you don’t have the space to store large quantities, or you don’t have the funds for the up-front cost of larger sizes or reusable containers, it is understandable that how the detergent gets used is one of the factors in which is right for you as well.

We hope this guide was helpful and gave you many factors to consider when choosing how you will launder your cloth diapers. When you’re ready to start discovering brands that are specific to your needs and preferences, we have a few resources that you can use to help guide you right here on YourClothDiaper.com. Simply use our search function to find what you’re looking for! Can’t find the information you need? Head on over to our Facebook Page and send me a message detailing your concerns or questions and I will help you the best I can!!

Resources/Products:
1. https://theecofriendlyfamily.com/cloth-diaper-detergent/
2. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/07/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment/
3. https://www.dropps.com/
4. https://amzn.to/2TkpjhK
5. https://www.grove.co/catalog/product/Ultra-concentrated-liquid-laundry-detergent/?v=3603&attrsrc=22&attrpg=catalog&attrpos=4
9. https://clothdiapertales.com/category/washing-cloth-diapers/
Photo Credit: Pixabay

40+ Best Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent Choices!

Best Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent Give Your Fluff Love

Picking The Best Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

 
If cloth diapering is a new thing for you, I can not emphasize strongly enough how much easier your life will become by choosing a really good detergent. Make your routine as simple as possible.

If you want to experiment with your favorite detergent down the road, do so, but only after you are successfully cloth diapering so you know what normal is.

In a hurry?
 
It’s ok! I’m a mom too! I understand your time is valuable.
 
I switched to Country Save Powder due to sensitive skin issues. This detergent has been awesome. It’s cost-effective, additive-free, and great results with no optical brighteners, no enzymes, no dyes, no softeners, and no fragrance!
 
We have an HE wahing machine. We do a cold quick cycle with 3/4 measure of the Country Save, then a hot/cold cotton towels setting cycle and that’s it. If I get even a tiny bit too much detergent I have to rinse again, so I check the last rinse cycle.

 

Do You Have To Use Special Detergent For Cloth Diapers?

 
No, you do not need to purchase a detergent specially labled “cloth diaper detergent” as long as you pick one that has enough cleaning power to get the job done, safe on your babies skin, safe for the materials in your cloth diaper stash and has as few chemicals as possible.
 

Which Detergent Works Best For Washing Cloth Diapers?

 
Thats a difficult question to answer since different detergents will work or not work to your satisfaction depending on many different factors. What works for one person’s diaper laundry will not necessarily work for you and yours.
 

Things To Consider When Choosing A Detergent

 
 

Your Washing Machine

 
Is your washing machine an energy-efficient or non-energy efficient machine? If your washing machine is an HE machine then you will need to pick a detergent that is HE safe. We’ve made a column just for the HE consideration so you can easily find HE detergents from the list below. These detergents are formulated to clean your laundry in very little water.
 

Your Water Supply

 
Do you have hard water or soft water? Testing your water for hardness will allow you to pick a detergent that best suits your water conditions. We’ve written a complete hard-water how-to post that will guide you step by step including video tutorials!
 

Does Your Baby Have Sensitive Skin?

 
If your baby has sensitive skin or if sensitive skin is a possible concern then you’ll want to stay away from harsh chemicals and heavy fragrances. These things are known to cause skin irritations.
 

Is Being Green Important To You?

 
If yes, then you’ll want to stick with a plant-based detergent, which is environmentally-friendly. If being green is not an issue for you and your family then synthetic-based detergents would be an option.
 

What Should I Avoid?

 

Optical Brighteners

  • Laundry detergent manufacturers add this chemical for the sole purpose of making clothing appear whiter and brighter, and thereby looking cleaner, without actually being cleaner! This chemical also fades your dark-colored clothes.
  • The British Journal Of Dermatology. says that when you perspire, the moisture in the fabric releases optical brighteners and deposits them onto the skin. Ewwww!
  • We have a rather extensive Detergents Without Optical Brighteners post with one of the largest detailed list of Optical Brightener Free Detergents on the web!

Enzymes

  • Enzymes are used to break down the dirt in your laundry. Proteolytic enzymes also cause irritation to skin, eyes and the respiratory tract.
  • Inclusion of enzymes in products leads to adverse skin reactions, including erythema, pruritus and exacerbation of eczema according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Artificial Dyes

  • Alkylphenol Ethoxylates are used in detergents and as scouring, coating or waterproofing agents in the final stages of the dyeing process.
  • It has been linked to reproductive health issues, reduced sperm count in men, and can result in early termination of pregnancy or fetal growth defects.

Softeners

  • Fabric Softener is a big no no, as it is actually just a product that builds up on fabric over time.
  • It will cause diapers to repel wetness and leak everywhere.
  • Fabric softeners can also leave harsh chemicals on your cloth diapers which will irritate your childs tiny tush!

Fragrance

  • To minimize irritation, look for a fragrance free detergent.

Soap-Based Detergents

  • You’ll want to make sure you use a detergent, not a soap. Soap will build up and cause them to repel.

Bleach

  • Bleach will slowly wear down the fibers and cause irritation and rashes.
  • Be careful when using a bleach alternative such as OxiClean, it will break down any waterproof layer and make covers and AIOs leak! It can be useful for soakers and prefolds, though. The main ingredient in OxiClean is very similar to a powdered form of hydrogen peroxide, so don’t use Clorox 2 on anything waterproof also.

 

The Best Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent Includes Surfactants

 

Surfactants

  • Surfactants are crucial to getting your clothes clean.
  • The main benefit of surfactants is their ability to draw grime out of clothing while making sure it doesn’t redeposit back onto the fabrics.
  • There were some controversial discussions among scientist that surfactants in high concentrations harm aquatic life. Don’t let this keep you awake at night because according to the Department of Environmental Science at Aarhus University , the most common soaps, shampoos and detergents actually pose a minimal risk to the environment. This is the conclusion of a comprehensive survey that covers more than 250 scientific studies over several decades.

 

HE Machines

 
After using my HE machine for over 6 months, I realized these machines are much different when washing diapers. Some of these machines wash better than others. (see Consumer Reports for this.. mine was rated “good” the middle rating).

I found my previous routine was not getting the diapers as clean as I liked; they smelled funky after the wash and started to get buildup quickly.

I switched to Country Save Powdered. This detergent has been awesome. Finally an economical choice for washing cloth diapers! It’s cost-effective, additive-free, and great results with no optical brighteners, no enzymes, no dyes, no softeners, and no fragrance!

 

How Much Detergent Should I Use?

 

To cover my behind here, I need to tell you to follow the instructions on your laundry detergents label. With that said, I do a cold quick cycle with 3/4 measure of the Country Save, then a hot/cold cotton towels setting cycle and that’s it. If I get even a tiny bit too much detergent I have to rinse again, so I check the last rinse cycle.

HE detergents are made to have less suds because of a very low water level in the machine. Too many suds can damage your HE machine!
 

What About Using Homemade Laundry Detergent?

 
Making your own homemade laundry detergent may sound like a fantastic idea. I mean afterall making it yourself is usually cheaper right?

I wouldn’t use homemade laundry soap on my cloth diapers, so I can’t recommend it for my readers. Why? First of all, you need to know the differences between soap and detergents. Soaps are made with fats or oils. They’re great for cleaning hard surfaces, but not clothes. Detergents are better at cleaning laundry in a machine because they’re more soluble. They also rinse away quickly, leaving no residue behind on your laundry.

Homemade detergents are not detergents at all, but rather soaps! They are usually made with soap products. Soap will build up and cause your cloth diapers to repel.

 

The Best Cloth Diaper Detergents of 2019

 

Image Product Details He

Safe?

Link
Allens Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent 150x150

Allens Naturally Powder

Best for babies with sensitive skin, however, doesn’t clean very well!

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
  • Rinses well in cold water
Yes

 

Allens Powder Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent 150x150

Allens Naturally Ultra Powder

Although there are no brighteners, the label reads “Not recommended for military uniforms”.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Allens Liquid Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent 150x150

Allens Naturally Liquid

Allen’s Naturally liquid laundry detergent requires only 1/4 oz for HE Machines.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance

Yes

Attitude Ylang Ylang And Tangerine Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent Liquid 1800ml 4

Attitude Baby Fragrance-Free

Good plant-based option. Use half a cap in prewash and a whole cap and a half in the main wash. Wash on hot and add a water softener if your water is at all hard.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • Awesome for sensitive skin and eczema!
Yes

 

Attitude Ylang Ylang And Tangerine Laundry Liquid 1800ml Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Attitude
Ylang-Ylang & Tangerine

Good plant-based option. Use half a cap in prewash and a whole cap and a half in the main wash. Wash on hot and add a water softener if your water is at all hard.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • Good Value For Money
Yes

 

Lavendar Grapefruit Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Attitude
Lavender & Grapefruit

Good plant-based option. Use half a cap in prewash and a whole cap and a half in the main wash. Wash on hot and add a water softener if your water is at all hard.

  • No Optical Brighteners

Yes

Baby Ganics Laundry Detergent Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

BabyGanics Loads of Love 3X, Fragrance-Free

Loads of Love is an unscented detergent that has none of all the “bad stuff” in regular laundry detergent. This means that it is free from petrolatum, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic fragrance, and parabens.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Chlorine, phthalates, phosphates, synthetic fragrances, or dyes
  • No Dyes
  • No Phthalates
  • No Fragrance
  • No Phosphates
Yes

 

Babyganics Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

BabyGanics 3X Lavender liquid

 

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Chlorine, phthalates, phosphates, synthetic fragrances, or dyes
  • No Dyes
  • No Phthalates
  • No Synthetic Fragrance
  • No Phosphates
Yes

 

Closeup Detergents Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Bio-O-Kleen Liquid Laundry Detergent

The liquid brand is a good choice

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Perfumes
Yes

 

Biokleen Laundry Powder Free And Clear 10 Lb Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Bio-O-Kleen Powder Free & Clear

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • Contains Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Bumgenius Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

BumGenius Powder

Moms report cloth diapers are clean, and no funky smell. Commonly used on both pocket diapers and prefolds.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Laundry Detergent Caldrea Sweet Pea Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Caldrea
Sweet Pea Laundry Detergent

Contains plant-derived surfactants, Borax and essential oils of Geranium, Orange, Jasmine, Coriander, Rose and Bergamot.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
No

 

Charlie Banana Detergent Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Charlie Banana Powder Fragrance-Free

No lingering chemical-based fragrance. It’s completely free from perfume or parabens. It dissolves quickly in cold water, and you won’t have to worry about residues on your clothes after rinsing the soap off. This works great for babies and individuals who suffer from allergic reactions to certain components in regular laundry soaps. Safe and effective for all fabrics including silk, wool, linen, cotton and high-tech microfiber athletic and waterproof gear.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Charliessoap Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Charlie’s Soap Powder

Similar to Allen’s Naturally, however ingredients are proprietary. Extensive studies by Clemson University have shown it leaves no residue. Biodegradable. Technically a “detergent” (not soap, despite its name). Complaints of chemical burns and rash have been reported!

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • Essential oil fragrances
Yes

 

Cheer Powder He Detergent Box Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Cheer Stay colorful Powdered Detergent Fresh Clean Scent

There are several other military enthusiast and cloth diaper websites that are listing multiple forms of Cheer (as well as other detergents) as “Optical Brightener Free”, however, these statements are FALSE! I have done extensive research and this variety of Cheer is the ONLY one that is optical-brightener free!

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
N/A

 

Countrysave Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Country Save Liquid

Cost effective, additive free, and great results.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Country Save Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Country Save Powdered

Cost effective, additive free, and great results.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Dropps Liquid Laundry Pacs – Fresh Scent

Plant-based and rather weak. It would take a lot of product to accomplish a good clean.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • NPE Free
  • No Phosphate
  • No Chlorine
Yes

 

Ecosfree Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Earth Friendly Products Baby Ecos Disney Laundry Detergent, Lavender and Chamomile

Phosphate-free, chlorine-free, enzyme-free, borine-free, cocamide DEA-free, dye-free, and free of petroleum ingredients.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
Yes

 

Earthview Laundry Detergent Fragrance Free Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Earthview Laundry Detergent

 

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • Biodegradable
  • Healthy Child Compliant
  • No Animal Testing
  • HE Safe
  • Methylisothiazolinone-free
  • Fragrance-Free
Yes

 

Envirorite Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

EnviroRite Clearly Clean

 

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
N/A

 

Hex Performance Advance Laundry Detergent Free And Clear 1 350x200

H-E-X Performance Anti-Stink Free + Clear Liquid

Eliminates tough odors – including smell caused by sweat, bacteria, mold, and mildew!

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Hex Anti Stink No Optical Brighteners

H-E-X Performance Anti-Stink Fresh Clean Scent Liquid

A light, fresh scent that doesn’t linger.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
Yes

 

Honest Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent 529x1024

Honest Company liquid

Plant-based. Contains sodium cocoate, which can build up in diapers, trapping bacteria and causing repellency issues. This baby laundry soap has a neutral pH level, which means it does not irritate the skin.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Kirkland Signature Environmentally Responsible Ultra Clean Liquid Laundry Detergent

Kirkland Signature Environmentally Responsible Ultra Clean Liquid Laundry Detergent

Contains vegetable-based surfactants including those derived from coconuts

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • Biodegradable
  • Safe for Septic Systems
  • Not tested on Animals
  • No Phosphates
Yes

 

Lifekind Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent 1024x1023

Lifekind Naturally Safer Triple Concentrated

Contains Seed & Pulp Extracts, Orange Peel Extracts, Surfactants from Coconuts.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Laundrydeterfc.1 1 476x1024

Mountain Green 3X Free and Clear

 

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • Fragrance-Free
  • PETA acceptable product
Yes

 

Mollys Suds All Sport Wash

Molly’s Suds All Sport Wash Liquid

NOTES: Ingredients
Purified water, decyl glucoside, vegetable glycerin, plant based minerals and enzymes, sodium bicarbonate, cocomide MEA, vanilla extract, organic sweet orange oil, plant based alcohol* *Alcohol is used in processing, however, it is not in the finished product. Note: Seasonal variations in raw materials may affect product color but does not affect efficacy

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
Yes

 

Mollys Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent 2 813x1024

Molly’s Suds Oxygen Whitener Powder

Does not contain surfactants.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • Essential oil fragrances
Yes

 

Mollys Suds Sensitive Skin No Optical Brighteners

Molly’s Suds Sensitive Skin Powder

Does not contain surfactants.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Natureclean 2 1 498x1024

Nature Clean liquid

 

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Nature Clean 3l Laundry Liquid

Nature Clean Refill liquid

 

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Nature Clean Powder Detergent

Nature Clean Powder

Although this is an excellent product, it ships from Canada so if you are in the USA shipping is outrageous!

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent Nellies

Nellie’s Laundry Soda

Contains coconut oil based ingredients. Not considered strong enough to properly clean a dirty diaper. Too expensive to be able to use enough to get a proper clean.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Oxy Prime Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent 1 1 639x1024

OXY-PRIME Powder

Rinses completely and decomposes almost immediately in the environment leaving no toxic by-products or phosphates to the water table.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Planet Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Planet Ultra Powder

Not an effective detergent.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Puracy Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent

From Austin, Texas; No phosphates, sulfates, petrochemicals, animal by-products, chlorine, perfumes, dyes, allergens.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Rockin Green Watermelon Classic Rock

Rockin Green Classic Rock Formula, Smashing Watermelons

Fantastic for hard water

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • Essential oil fragrances
Yes

 

Natural He Powder Laundry Detergent By Rockin Green Perfect For Cloth Diapers Classic Rock Formula For Normal Water Up To 90 Loads Per Bag 45 Oz Unscented 0

Rockin Green Unscented

Fantastic for hard water

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrances
Yes

 

Seventh Generation Natural 4X Concentrated Free and Clear Unscented

Use 1/2 cap in your cloth diaper prewash and 1 1/2 caps in the main wash. Wash on hot; add a water softener, such as Calgon if your water is at all hard. Does contain essential oils.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Seventh Genration Detergent Baby No Optical Brighteners

Seventh Generation Baby

Plant-derived enzyme stain removers. Certified Cruelty Free. From Vermont; 0% fragrances, dyes, or artificial brighteners.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Perfumes
Yes

 

Vaska 150x150

Vaska Baby

 

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

Vaska 150x150

Vaska Perfect

 

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
Yes

 

 

 

Sources:
The British Journal Of Dermatology – https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2133.1969.tb15947.x
National Center for Biotechnology Information – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18422788
Dyes and their effects on your health – Trusted Clothes. https://www.trustedclothes.com/blog/2016/06/21/dyes-and-their-effects-on-your-health/
The Department of Environmental Science at Aarhus University – http://envs.au.dk/en/current/news/artikel/saebestoffer-er-ikke-skadelige-for-miljoeet/

Stripping Cloth Diapers – How To STRIP Deep Clean Your Cloth Diapers

Stripping Cloth Diapers Here Is How To Do It

First and foremost, if your cloth diaper is under warranty before you attempt this or any other cloth diaper cleaning routine, please consult the manufacturer as you could void your warranty if they have specific stripping instructions.

Buildup. It’s an ugly word in the cloth diapering community. And if you have any experience with cloth diapers you know why. Leakage, stink, stains, are all par for the course when you have detergent build-up on your diapers. Now here is the million-dollar question; how do I keep my diapers clean and build-up free? Well first off, always make sure that your washing routine is a good one!

A typical washing routine is as follows: A cold pre-rinse to get rid of all of the yuck. A hot wash with cloth diaper recommended detergent. An additional cold rinse. (a total of two final rinses). The type of cloth diapers you own will determine the kind of detergent you use.

It is always important to use the recommended detergent for your diapers. Not only because it will help them last longer, but it will also allow you to send the diaper back to the manufacturer in case of a faulty elastic, bad snap, or any other manufacturer defect due to normal wear. When you purchase new diapers from an authorized retailer, most cloth diaper companies will repair your diapers for free with proof of purchase.

With that said, the following instructions for stripping cloth diapers are intended for those diapers that are not under warranty.
 
Blue Dawn Cloth Diaper
 

Stop Over Complicating it!!

 
Here I go again, keeping it real! Blue Dawn is all the rave among Cloth Diaper Mommas’. While yes I’ll admit it has it’s own merits; you do not “have” to use Blue Dawn.

Honestly, I find it ridiculous when I read someone post… “You HAVE to strip your cloth diapers with Blue Dawn!”

Also, you know what I hate hearing? The term “stripping cloth diapers.” It puts thought of paint stripping in my head. It sounds like some harsh act. It also confuses a lot of new cloth diaper mommas! They think “Of great! Something else to learn”.
 

Stripping Is Just Another Way of Saying Deep Clean!

 
I’m here to tell you straight up (as a cloth diaper momma of many years!)  Blue Dawn hysteria is bullshit!

Blue Dawn is fantastic for cutting grease, so if you need to remove greasy diaper rash creams and such, then yes you can use blue dawn, but you don’t have to!

Stripping” is just a newfangled way of saying “deep cleaning.” If you want to deep clean your diapers, wash them with a good cloth diaper detergent (like Tide or Foca). I mean really lay it on and use a proper amount of detergent and add some oxygen bleach for the rinse cycle. Your diapers will get really clean, then just do another full wash with no detergent for a really good rinse. Bam, deep cleaned diapers! No confusing terms.. just deep clean them!

Although I don’t really like the term “stripping cloth diapers“, it is a well known and a widely used term so I will continue to use it in this post for reference and clarity sake. One less thing to be confused about!
 

Other Than Deep Cleaning What Else Can You Do?

 
These are general instructions only.

Stripping cloth diapers is something most cloth diapering mommas will have to do from time to time. There are many reasons why you would need to do this. Such as when….

  • cloth diapers that have developed bad smells
  • cloth diapers you have bought second hand
  • cloth diapers that are suddenly leaking

It’s not something you will need to do very often. And with the careful care of your cloth diapers, some people never need to strip wash ever!

Following our washing instructions and using a good detergent like Rock’n’Green can help you not need to strip your cloth diapers.

The most common culprit for stinky cloth diapers is detergent buildup. This buildup will cause stinkiness, water repelling and diaper rash. Using too much detergent can make it difficult to get your diapers fully rinsed out. What happens, wash after wash, is a nice little build up forms on the diapers. You really only need to use about 1/4 to 1/2 of what the manufacturers recommend.

Another culprit that may have you needing to strip your diapers is using the wrong kind of detergent. Many natural detergents have oils in them that will build up on your diapers. Also, detergents with fragrance, brighteners, etc. will leave stuff on your diapers, which you don’t want.

Diaper rash creams
, especially those with zinc oxide are very difficult to get out of cloth diapers and can cause water to repel. Also, diaper rash creams that have fish oil in them can make your diapers stink like fish… Ewww!! A definite good reason for stripping cloth diapers!

 

When To Strip (Deep Clean)

 

  1. Sometimes, your cloth diapers may need a strip wash as the build up in the soakers and shell fabrics can cause cloth diapers to become quite smelly immediately after being wee’d in. They will smell lovely and fresh post-wash, but after urine contact, they smell very strong and you can smell them from a distance.
  2. Secondhand cloth diapers may also do better with a strip wash if you have bought them from someone unknown. As not everyone looks after their cloth diapers as well as you will. Some use detergents that build up, some may simply not have stripped their cloth diapers ever.
  3. Also, a sign that cloth diapers may need stripping, is if a cloth diaper that was previously fine, suddenly starts to lose absorbency and leak. This can be a sign of build up and stripping them back will remove that build up and restore them back to how they were.

 

Limit Stripping Cloth Diapers

 
Strip washing should only ever be done a maximum of twice a year, really, as each time you do this it reduces the life of your cloth diapers slightly.
 

So, when is it time to strip your diapers?

 

  • If they are really stinky, even after washing.
  • If they are repelling instead of absorbing water (this happens a lot with pocket diapers when they get detergent buildup).
  • After using diaper cream with zinc oxide, oils, or waxes.
  • If your diapers start to leak and not absorb as well as they used to.

Just like all things cloth diaper related, stripping cloth diapers varies from family to family. Everyone’s washing machine and water quality vary. You may find you need to experiment to find what works best for you. How do you know it worked?? Your diapers will be clean, odor free and working great! Trust your nose. If your diapers smell stinky, they are not clean.
 

To Soak or Not Soak

 

There are two methods of stripping cloth diapers. One is a soak method and one isn’t.

I recommend the soak method particularly if you have a front loader.
 

Soak Stripping Cloth Diapers

 

  1. Put your cloth diapers through a normal wash cycle
  2. Add 4 tablespoons of Rock’n’Green to your machine
  3. Set the machine to a hot wash cycle, allow the machine to fill and then press pause
    If you are nervous of shells and hot water, you can wait for the water to cool slightly before putting them in or reduce the temperature to 60 degrees to protect the integrity of the pul and the elastics.
  4. You can leave the soaking cloth diapers for as long as needed: 2-3 hours for smelly, overnight for extra smelly and 24 hours for extra smelly
  5. Resume the cycle
  6. Double rinse the cloth diapers and if you wish, you can add Canesten to the final rinse cycle
  7. Dry the cloth diapers in the sun

** If your cloth diapers are still smelly after this method, you can repeat this with Rock’n’Green’s Funk Rock which is designed for stinkies.

 

No-Soak Strip (aka the Dish Washing Liquid Method)

 

Here are some basic instructions for stripping your diapers, which can be adjusted to better suit your personal laundry needs.

Step 1Start with clean diapers. Wash and rinse like you normally would. You don’t need to dry them since they are just going to get wet again.

Step 2: Wash your diapers in super hot water without detergent, just hot water. You may want to turn the water heater up to do this. Make sure to read the manufactures instructions for your diapers before doing this step. Some diapers shouldn’t be washed in very hot water.Stripping Your Cloth Diapers

Step 3: Rinse your diapers again, in a hot cycle if you can. Peak into the washer during the rinse to see if there are any bubbles in the water. Repeat this step as many times as you need to until there are no more bubbles in the water. No bubbles mean there is no more soap buildup on your dipes, which is what you’re after! This can take 4 or more rinse cycles, so don’t be surprised if you have to rinse over and over again.

Step 4: Dry your diapers. Even better, dry them out in the sun. Sunshine is great at getting rid of stains and killing germs.

 

Additional Tips for Stripping Cloth Diapers

 

Original Dawn Dish Detergent

 
Dawn Add a few drops of Original Dawn Dish Detergent to Step 2 above. This can help get rid of any oils that may be on the diapers. Note: if your washing machine is still under warranty, some washing machine manufacturers will tell you that using Dawn in the washing machine will void their warranty, so check this out before using this trick.
 
 
 

Baking Soda

 
Bakingsoda2 Add 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda to Step 2. This can help eliminate odors that have built up on your diapers.
 
 
 

White Vinegar

 
Vinegar Add about 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle of Step 2 above. If you normally use vinegar in the rinse, try not using it. Sometimes vinegar is really helpful, but sometimes it can react negatively with hard water, leaving a stink behind.
 
 
 

Bac-Out by Bi-o-Kleen

 
Bacout2 Bac-Out is a product that can help with stripping cloth diapers. You can find Bac-Out at many natural food stores. Just make sure to rinse the diapers really well, probably several times. Some babies are very sensitive to the ingredients in Bac-Out.
 
 
 

Calgon Water Softener

 
Calgon Try using Calgon Water Softener if you have hard water. Be sure your diapers get rinsed out really well after using.
 
 
 

Oxy-Clean

 
Oxiclean Use Oxy-Clean in Step 2 above and then rinse, rinse, rinse. Oxy-Clean can break down the fibers of your diapers, so I don’t recommend doing this method very often.
 
 
 

RLR

 
RlrstrippingYou may be able to find a product called RLR at your local grocery store. It is a laundry treatment that is not as harsh as bleach and can really do wonders for diapers with a lot of build-up. I have used this on my pocket diapers when they were really leaking and it fixed the problem on the first try. Follow the package instructions and make sure to rinse your diapers really well afterward.
 
 
 

Bleach

 
Bleach Bleach. I know I’ve said not to use chlorine bleach on your cloth diapers. But, sometimes it is the only thing that will get the job done. I would definitely save this as a last resort and make sure to rinse like crazy! And, using bleach will void the warranty for some diapers – it’s a good idea to check with your diaper manufacturer before washing your diapers with bleach.

Yes, chlorine bleach it is great for killing germs, but it is bad for cloth diapers, covers and your family. It will eat away at the fibers in your diapers, leaving holes and frayed edges. It also decreases their durability and absorbency. It may adversely affect the waterproofing in certain cloth diapers. Baking soda and oxygen bleach are great whiteners to use in its place.
 

Additional Effective Options

 
How To Strip Cloth Diapers
 
 

Remember, Chlorine Bleach Options Should Only Be Used AS a Last Resort!

 
FOR ALL OPTION – Rinse 2 or 3 times. If you see suds at the end of the rinse cycle rinse again!

During soak, stirring occasionally to release the mineral build-up from your cloth diapers.

Follow up with a 30-minute bleach soak. Then Wash with your normal detergent plus borax 3-4 times.

PRECAUTION: Keep pets and children away from deep cleaning solutions. Wear gloves and protect your eyes from any slashing.

  • OPTION 1: (Not recommended for iron-rich water) Soak your diapers once in hot water with 1/2 cup of your regular detergent plus add up to a 1/2 cup of bleach for a minimum of 30 minutes but no more than 45 minutes. After the soak, Normal wash and Rinse.
  • OPTION 2: Pour 1 1/2 cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 cup of lemon juice into a gallon jug. Fill the remainder of your jug with distilled water.
    Directions For Use: Use 1 cup of this solution + 1/2 cup of your regular non-toxic laundry detergent in a hot water soak. Optional, add 10-15 drops of Lemon or Thieves essential oils to your liquid washing soap for an added cleaning strength. Soak 4-6 hours. After the soak, Normal Wash, and Rinse.
  • OPTION 3: Fill your bathtub or top loader half full with HOT water, Add 3 Grovia Mighty Bubbles pods plus 1/2 cup of your regular detergent for ONE deep cleaning. Soak 4-6 hours. After the soak, Normal Wash, and Rinse.
  • OPTION 4: DIY mix – Combine 3 Tablespoons of each Washing Soda, Borax, and Calgon for one deep cleaning. Add this DIY mix to your top-loader or bathtub that is half full of HOT water plus 1/2 cup of your regular detergent. Soak 4-6 hours. After the soak, Normal Wash, and Rinse.